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The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin

About the Author

Michele Elam

Michele Elam is the William Robertson Coe Professor of Humanities in the English Department at Stanford University and an Associate Director of the Insittute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence https://hai.stanford.edu/news/hai-welcomes-new-associate-directors

Elam’s research in interdisciplinary humanities connects literature with the social sciences in order to examine changing cultural interpretations of gender and race. Her work is informed by the understanding that racial perception in particular impacts outcomes for health, wealth and social justice. “Making Race in the Age of AI,” her...

Cambridge University Press
2015

This Companion offers fresh insight into the art and politics of James Baldwin, one of the most important writers and provocative cultural critics of the twentieth century. Black, gay, and gifted, he was hailed as a “spokesman for the race,” although he personally, and controversially, eschewed titles and classifications of all kinds. Individual essays examine his classic novels and nonfiction as well as his work across lesser-examined domains: poetry, music, theatre, sermon, photo-text, children's literature, public media, comedy, and artistic collaboration. In doing so, The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin captures the power and influence of his work during the civil rights era as well as his relevance in the “post-race” transnational twenty-first century, when his prescient questioning of the boundaries of race, sex, love, leadership, and country assume new urgency.